Education International
Education International

Three questions to Argentinian EFAIDS Coordinator Roxana Rogalski

published 20 September 2009 updated 20 September 2009

Roxana Rogalski of the Argentinian teacher union federation, CTERA, shares her experience of working on the EI EFAIDS Programme in Argentina.

What are the major challenges for quality education in Argentina?

Securing the implementation of the National Education law is essential so that we can guarantee complete access to primary education and compulsory education for five years. Working on compulsory secondary education is also a priority. We think that to really tackle the problems of exclusion that the education system still faces there needs to be a further law on financing of education which will guarantee the necessary investment by the national and provincial authorities.

Should HIV and AIDS be compulsory topic for teaching in schools?In light of the scope of the subject, the day-to-day interaction that teachers share with their students means they have a unique and crucial role not only in the school environment but also in the wider community. During 2008 the Federal Council on Education approved the framework for the curriculum which will lead to Comprehensive Sexual Education. In Article 1, the law states that “all students have the right to receive full sexual health education” which highlights the biological, psychological, social, emotional and ethical aspects. The national Comprehensive Sexual Education Programme seeks to empower children and teenagers to adopt responsible sexual behaviour which contributes to general wellbeing.

The ideal situation is that sexuality in general, and in particular the topic of HIV and AIDS is introduced in schools through a School Educational Project which is adapted to the educational needs of the community. Young people are left vulnerable if they are not equipped with information, training and decision-making skills. The specific context of each school will mean that issues like unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections will be more or less pressing and may call for joint action between the school and community.

Does CTERA work in partnership to increase the impact of its work on HIV and AIDS prevention?

After more than a decade working to promote and develop prevention policies on HIV and AIDS, CTERA continues to strengthen its work at national level and to share its experience on a regional level. Since 2000 it has carried through on a decision to launch a Counselling Centre to provide free, confidential and voluntary HIV testing. Through the EI EFAIDS Programme, CTERA has widened its strategy of school-based prevention education, its relationship with the state and increased the leadership of union activists in training and capacity building, as well as in producing training materials. Currently CTERA is an example to organisations across the region and we participate in many national and international situations, carrying out workshops within the framework of South-South cooperation thus sharing the wealth of experience the organisation has gained through its work.